. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 More for OPERU-2

The turbulent public polemics between the prime minister of Tatarstan, Farid Mukhametshin, and the head of Aeroflot, Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, are threatening to boil over into a major political scandal. Russian airplane builders and those who defend their interests hold that Aeroflot's love for foreign airplane suppliers undermines Russia's production and threatens the country's economic security. Aeroflot, with figures in hand, is trying to prove that a love for the airplanes now being mass-produced in Russia is simply too costly for airlines and passengers alike.

This is what the prime minister of Tatarstan, Farid Mukhametshin, said to Izvestia correspondent Boris Bronshtein in Kazan: "I read in Izvestia that the general director of Aeroflot, Marshal Shaposhnikov, and the president of the Boeing Commercial Airline Group, Mr. [Ron] Woodard, are planning to sign a contract for the purchase and sale of Boeing aircraft," said the prime minister.

"I was extremely perplexed by the information, and sent Marshal Shaposhnikov a telegram. In it I reminded Yevgeny Ivanovich that aircraft builders in Kazan, in extremely difficult economic conditions, developed and began to produce the Tu-214, which boasts wonderful operational characteristics. I invited Shaposhnikov to Kazan to convince him on the spot of the promising prospects and profitability of using Russian airplanes."

When asked if it was too late for such an effort, Farid Mukhametshin said the purchase of the Boeing aircraft could still be reversed.

"I don't think that it's over," he said. "Our representative in Moscow talked with Shaposhnikov over the telephone, and it seems that they understood one another. By the end of the week we will talk with him again."

Farid Mukhametshin also said Tatarstan had informed Security Council secretary Alexander Lebed about the problem ...

The Russian national air transporter Aeroflot has always had to work in the international arena in free market conditions and with tough competition from the largest foreign air transport companies. The present head of Aeroflot, Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, feels the company's policies are therefore best explained by the demands of today's economy, not by the failure of Russian companies to adapt to the new situation more quickly. This answers much about the conflict evolving around Aeroflot's plan to acquire 10 Boeing 737-400 short-distance aircraft.

Mr. Shaposhnikov revealed more details in an interview with Izvestia correspondent Viktor Belikov ...

Three more banks -- Rossiisky Kredit, Vozrozhdeniye, and Unikombank -- are now under the supervision of the Central Bank's OPERU-2 second operative directorate [settlements center], after a recent order by the chairman of the Central Bank.

As the head of OPERU-2, Denis Kiselyov, stated in yesterday's briefing in the Central Bank, the transfer of the three banks, which are "very large banks that play a strategic role in the banking system," is to take place by Oct. 9, 1996. By that time Sberbank, Agroprombank, Vneshtorgbank, Menatep and the International Financial Company should all be under the control of OPERU-2.